Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Briefly Mentioned

• U.S.-born Illustrator Tom Adams “seems to be everyone’s favorite Agatha Christie paperback cover artist. Certainly he is mine …,” writes Curtis Evans in his blog, The Passing Tramp. “Adams is best known for [the book fronts] he did over many years for English paperback publisher Fontana (often intriguingly surrealistic), yet his beautiful American Pocket editions from the early Seventies are most familiar to me personally.” Evans presents a handsome gallery of Adams’ Christie covers for Pocket at the link. You will find multiple examples of his Fontana paperbacks here.

• Meanwhile, blogger-author Evan Lewis has begun showcasing various British dust jackets designed for Raymond Chandler’s novels. Click here to enjoy the first such set. Previously, Lewis created a three-part gallery of Chandler’s vintage American dust jackets in his blog, Davy Crockett’s Almanack of Mystery, Adventure, and the Wild West. Part I was here, Part II here, and Part III here.

• Sadly, these covers for familiar novels by Chandler, Jim Thompson, and Dashiell Hammett don’t appear to have decorated any print books—as yet. But they really should. They’re the creations of Austin, Texas-based graphic designer David Johnson.

• A Web site called It’s Nice That recently posted a collection of what it labeled “Fantastically Kitsch Mexican Pulp Paperback Covers.” Explained contributor Rebecca Fullylove: “Ballsy, bizarre, and a little bit racy, these Mexican pulp fiction book covers are fantastic fun and epitomize our need for a bit of weird naughtiness. The kitsch-factor is overwhelming as scantily clad women run away in terror, a man in purple spandex is surrounded by adoring cats, and giant robots menacingly pick up shiny red cars.”

Speaking of cringe-worthy covers …

• As Electric Lit noted last month, “Saturday, October 14 marks the 125th anniversary of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: the first collection of his short stories previously printed in The Strand Magazine. Despite the fact that they are amongst Sherlock’s most famous cases, few stories in this collection have ever received their own cover designs—an oversight that has now been corrected. To celebrate this major milestone, 12 professional book designers from Reedsy have created exclusive new covers for each of these fantastic stories.”

• And Yvette Banek has put together a variety of hand-focused fronts from vintage paperbacks by Erle Stanley Gardner, Ngaio Marsh, Helen McCloy, and others.

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